Spinal cancer treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center is individualized for each patient through the collaboration of a multispecialty group of experts. Every week, our spinal tumor board comes together to discuss the patients under our care; evaluate clinical reports, radiology studies and pathology results; and then recommend or revise the course of therapy. Largely due to our highly integrated, multispecialty approach to cancer care, Moffitt’s survival rates continue to outrank national averages, and our patients enjoy a higher quality of life.
For each patient, the Moffitt tumor board determines the best spinal cancer treatment, which may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, biological response modifiers and/or a surgical procedure, such as:
- Resection – A surgeon removes as much of a tumor as is safely possible in order to relieve neural pressure and alleviate symptoms.
- Needle-guided biopsy/needle aspiration – This procedure is sometimes recommended if a tumor cannot be removed safely.
- Complex spinal cancer surgery – If there is destruction of vertebral bone, a surgeon can remove a tumor to alleviate pressure and decompress the spinal cord and then reconstruct the spine.
- Spinal stabilization – A key component of any spinal tumor treatment, this procedure can sometimes be performed using minimally invasive techniques, such as endoscopy.
- Biopsy combined with the placement of cement – Spinal tumors can sometimes cause vertebral fractures, and the surgical placement of cement can help to stabilize the spine.
- Kyphoplasty – This procedure can alleviate pain, stabilize vertebrae and restore lost vertebral body height resulting from spinal fractures that were caused by a tumor.
- Focused radiofrequency ablation – A radiofrequency probe is used to destroy spinal tumor cells through the application of heat.
While performing surgery, the skilled neurosurgeons of Moffitt’s Neuro-Oncology Program are guided by three-dimensional intraoperative neuro-navigation systems and functional magnetic resonance imaging. These innovative technologies allow a surgeon to precisely locate and remove small and deep-seated tumors while preserving the surrounding bone and tissue.
In Moffitt’s spine cancer program, our patients not only benefit from access to some of the most skillful surgeons in the country, but also advanced spinal cancer treatment options, promising clinical trials and compassionate support, all of which are provided in a single, convenient location. Moffitt is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida, and we continue to make strides in achieving significant medical advances based on a solid foundation of past discoveries, new technologies and forward thinking.